True stories of old Houston and Houstonians: historical and personal sketches / by S. O. Young. Page: 204
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204 TRUE STORIES OF OLD
as they got their goats in line a rough voice was heard and then
Captain Jack White showed up behind the voice. The moment
he saw Sinclair he knew something wrong was going on.
"Oh, it's you, you rascal," he said, addressing Sinclair. "I
could have closed my eyes and known that some devil's work
was on foot had I known you were here. What are you going
to do now. It's nothing for the peace and law and order, I
"Why Captain White," said a lady who was in the crowd. "The
gentleman has done nothing wrong that you should speak to
him that way. He and the other gentleman are assisting those
two boys to do something, that's all."
"Madam," said Captain Jack, "Ye do not know this chap as I
know him. He has given me more trouble than all the other
rascals in town. Wherever he goes and wherever he stops I look
for trouble. It may look innocent to you, but I know better,
and think I'd best take him in just to avoid trouble."
It may be said right here, that Captain Jack White thought
Sinclair one of the finest fellows in the world, and while he
abused him to his face, it would not have been a healthy thing
for anyone else to do in Captain Jack's hearing.
"Now, Captain," said Sinclair, "keep your shirt on. Floyd
and I are doing nothing except trying to pull off a goat race and
we can't get the street clear of carts, wagons and horses." Sinclair
then told the captain of the bet with Floyd and the prize
for the boy who won.
"Is that all you're doing?" said the captain. "Clear the way
there," he shouts, waving his club, and in a few moments he had
the right side of Congress Avenue clear from Travis Street
down to the courthouse. There were five hundred people lined
up on the sidewalks to see that initial race and the winner was
cheered to the echo.
That, briefly, is a history of the beginning of Sinclair's famous
goat races which for a time attracted national interest and
While Sinclair never had much in common with a goat he
always had a great deal in common with a boy and was a bigger
crank about boys than Jud Lewis is about babies. He was
every newsboy's friend and confidential adviser and knew all
their trials and tribulations much better than their parents did.
Whatever he said do they did. His influence was not confined
to the newsboys, but extended to every boy in Houston. That
being true, it was an easy thing for him to organize the boys
into a great racing association, goats being the "ponies" used.
Sinclair took only the boys in his confidence and no one knew
of the first goat race until Sinclair announced, in the morning
paper, that it would occur one afternoon on San Jacinto Street
and would be run from Preston Avenue to Congress Avenue.
That afternoon San Jacinto Street was lined on both sides for
the entire length of the course. Everybody was talking goat
and the whole town thought of nothing else. A committee of
Here’s what’s next.
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Young, Samuel Oliver. True stories of old Houston and Houstonians: historical and personal sketches / by S. O. Young., book, 1913; Galveston, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth24646/m1/204/: accessed August 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .